30 October 2014
The Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force yesterday (October 29) jointly mounted an anti-illegal employment operation codenamed "Windsand" in the New Territories North District.
During the operation, nine Mainland visitors comprising two men and seven women aged 29 to 60 were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in suspected parallel goods trading at Lok Ma Chau Road, Castle Peak Road - San Tin and Kwu Tung Road. The goods included milk powder, red wine, baby food, skin-care products, electronic thermometers, cosmetics and snacks.
Since September 2012, a number of "Windsand" operations have been conducted, during which a total of 1 423 Mainlanders and 14 Hong Kong residents were arrested for suspected involvement in parallel goods trading. Of these, 204 Mainlanders were prosecuted for breach of conditions of stay and one is under investigation, while the remaining 1 218 people were repatriated. Among those prosecuted, 195 out of 204 were sentenced to imprisonment for four weeks to three months and charges were withdrawn for another nine people.
"Visitors are not allowed to take up employment in Hong Kong, whether paid or unpaid, without the permission of the Director of Immigration. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction face a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to two years' imprisonment. Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution and penalties. The Immigration Department will continue to take enforcement action with related law enforcement departments against the offences concerned," an Immigration Department spokesman said.